An 8-Week Relaxation Program Consisting of Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Stress and Attenuate Stress-Driven Eating

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stress is often associated with the intake of energy-dense palatable foods. This trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week worksite-based relaxation intervention to address psychological stress and unhealthy food intake.

METHODS: Thirty-six men and women were exposed to an acute stressor, while physiological and psychological responses were assessed, prior to being offered a test meal. Participants were then randomised to a relaxation intervention (RELAX; face-to-face classes and daily home practice of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation), or a wait-list control (CON). All measures were repeated after the intervention.

RESULTS: Intervention compliance was high (80% ± 19% face-to-face; 79% ± 18% home practice), and each session acutely reduced perceived stress (p < .001) and increased relaxation (p < .001). After 8 weeks, trait mindfulness was increased (p = .025), along with reduced tension (p = .013) and increased relaxation (p < .05) post-acute stressor in the intervention group. There was no effect of the intervention on palatable eating, cravings, or energy intake at a laboratory test meal, with small associated effect sizes (d = 0.01-0.3).

CONCLUSIONS: The program studied here is feasible and sessions transiently reduce perceived stress and improve mindfulness; however, the program may not influence the physiological response to an acute stressor or appetite and eating variables.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2019

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Autogenic Training
Mindfulness
Meditation
Eating
Energy Intake
Meals
Appetite
Psychological Stress
Workplace
Compliance
Psychology
Food

Cite this

@article{0a9ae037e8d646d695d7ee7b529bfe1e,
title = "An 8-Week Relaxation Program Consisting of Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Stress and Attenuate Stress-Driven Eating",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Stress is often associated with the intake of energy-dense palatable foods. This trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week worksite-based relaxation intervention to address psychological stress and unhealthy food intake.METHODS: Thirty-six men and women were exposed to an acute stressor, while physiological and psychological responses were assessed, prior to being offered a test meal. Participants were then randomised to a relaxation intervention (RELAX; face-to-face classes and daily home practice of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation), or a wait-list control (CON). All measures were repeated after the intervention.RESULTS: Intervention compliance was high (80{\%} ± 19{\%} face-to-face; 79{\%} ± 18{\%} home practice), and each session acutely reduced perceived stress (p < .001) and increased relaxation (p < .001). After 8 weeks, trait mindfulness was increased (p = .025), along with reduced tension (p = .013) and increased relaxation (p < .05) post-acute stressor in the intervention group. There was no effect of the intervention on palatable eating, cravings, or energy intake at a laboratory test meal, with small associated effect sizes (d = 0.01-0.3).CONCLUSIONS: The program studied here is feasible and sessions transiently reduce perceived stress and improve mindfulness; however, the program may not influence the physiological response to an acute stressor or appetite and eating variables.",
author = "Tasmiah Masih and Dimmock, {James A} and Elissa Epel and Guelfi, {Kym J}",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/aphw.12179",
language = "English",
journal = "Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being",
issn = "1758-0846",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An 8-Week Relaxation Program Consisting of Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Mindfulness Meditation to Reduce Stress and Attenuate Stress-Driven Eating

AU - Masih, Tasmiah

AU - Dimmock, James A

AU - Epel, Elissa

AU - Guelfi, Kym J

PY - 2019/10/1

Y1 - 2019/10/1

N2 - BACKGROUND: Stress is often associated with the intake of energy-dense palatable foods. This trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week worksite-based relaxation intervention to address psychological stress and unhealthy food intake.METHODS: Thirty-six men and women were exposed to an acute stressor, while physiological and psychological responses were assessed, prior to being offered a test meal. Participants were then randomised to a relaxation intervention (RELAX; face-to-face classes and daily home practice of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation), or a wait-list control (CON). All measures were repeated after the intervention.RESULTS: Intervention compliance was high (80% ± 19% face-to-face; 79% ± 18% home practice), and each session acutely reduced perceived stress (p < .001) and increased relaxation (p < .001). After 8 weeks, trait mindfulness was increased (p = .025), along with reduced tension (p = .013) and increased relaxation (p < .05) post-acute stressor in the intervention group. There was no effect of the intervention on palatable eating, cravings, or energy intake at a laboratory test meal, with small associated effect sizes (d = 0.01-0.3).CONCLUSIONS: The program studied here is feasible and sessions transiently reduce perceived stress and improve mindfulness; however, the program may not influence the physiological response to an acute stressor or appetite and eating variables.

AB - BACKGROUND: Stress is often associated with the intake of energy-dense palatable foods. This trial examined the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week worksite-based relaxation intervention to address psychological stress and unhealthy food intake.METHODS: Thirty-six men and women were exposed to an acute stressor, while physiological and psychological responses were assessed, prior to being offered a test meal. Participants were then randomised to a relaxation intervention (RELAX; face-to-face classes and daily home practice of progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation), or a wait-list control (CON). All measures were repeated after the intervention.RESULTS: Intervention compliance was high (80% ± 19% face-to-face; 79% ± 18% home practice), and each session acutely reduced perceived stress (p < .001) and increased relaxation (p < .001). After 8 weeks, trait mindfulness was increased (p = .025), along with reduced tension (p = .013) and increased relaxation (p < .05) post-acute stressor in the intervention group. There was no effect of the intervention on palatable eating, cravings, or energy intake at a laboratory test meal, with small associated effect sizes (d = 0.01-0.3).CONCLUSIONS: The program studied here is feasible and sessions transiently reduce perceived stress and improve mindfulness; however, the program may not influence the physiological response to an acute stressor or appetite and eating variables.

U2 - 10.1111/aphw.12179

DO - 10.1111/aphw.12179

M3 - Article

JO - Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being

JF - Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being

SN - 1758-0846

ER -